Steps being taken to ensure rights of persons with disability: Dr Shireen Mazari

Islamabad, January 22, 2019 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari has said the bill to protect the rights of persons with disabilities has been introduced in National Assembly and the NA has referred it to the relevant NA standing committee for further consideration and approval. She said that through comprehensive strategy steps are being taken to ensure the rights the rights of persons with disability. We are committed to ensure the rights of every citizen in pursuance to the Constitution of Pakistan and international commitments, she added.

She expressed these views while chairing the 2nd meeting of the National Committee constituted by the Ministry of Human Rights for the implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, (UNCRPD) and other international commitments pertaining to disability here in Islamabad on Tuesday. Representative of the federal government, provincial governments, AJK and GB and other departments working on disability and data collection were among the attendants.

The participants of the committee were briefed about UNCRPD, Incheon Strategy and action plan for operationalizing the strategy’s indicators. Addressing the meeting, Minister Human Rights Shireen Mazari underlined the need for further collaboration and coordination with relevant stakeholders for collection of data of disables. She asked all the relevant Governments’ representatives to share updated survey based information and data about persons with disabilities to prepare policies and action plan for protection and promotion of persons with physical and mental disability.

The Committee reviewed Action Plan in pursuance to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities, (UNCRPD) Incheon strategy and other international commitments pertaining to disability and for seeking concurrence of the stakeholders in the proposed action plan. The meeting was aimed at seeking concurrence of the provincial governments with regard to the relevant indicators of the Incheon Strategy.

Implementation status of the decisions made in the first meeting was also reviewed. The members of the committee also reviewed the progress and initiatives of all the relevant departments of Federal Special Education and Provincial Special Education and Social Welfare in line with the UNCRPD and Incheon strategy to inform the ministry about existing gaps and further measures to be taken. It was decided that Human Rights ministry will arrange workshop at a federal level for consideration of recommendations of the DGSE and Provincial governments for implementation of UNCRPD and Incheon strategy and other required information.

It was also decided in the meeting that Provincial governments will notify the similar committees to the National Committee in their respective provinces along with the appointment of focal persons for effective implementation of international commitments. The provincial governments will consider the rights based legislation where needed. All the relevant departments were also asked to put forward their future course of action immediately so that Action Plan can be finalized.

The Ministry of Human Rights is preparing survey based database and information about PWDs and has asked the relevant governments’ representatives to share updated survey based information that is required for preparing policies and plans for protection of rights of disables. The Provincial governments including AJK and GB apprised the participants of committee about the measures taken by their respective Governments to up lift the status of PWDs. The representatives of all provincial governments also shared in details the provincial initiatives for development of PWDs.

Ministry of Human Rights; in collaboration with the statistic division was preparing the reliable and comparable statistical data on the number of PWDs. In this regard, all the provincial representatives to were asked to share updated information and data related to persons with disability. It was also decided that in future meetings of the committee will be arranged in all provinces. The participants were asked to review their progress with regard to UNCRPD and Incheon Strategy to inform the Ministry of Human Rights about their recommendations for consideration of Action Plan without delay.

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